Peripheral Visions

a blog from SuppliesGuys™ -- Good Guys. Great Buys.

PURLs – A Continuation of Using Variable Data Marketing to Grow Your Business

In a recent post on The Basics of Variable Data Marketing, we discussed using variable data marketing to enhance the marketing program within your small business. Variable data can be used in emails and direct mailing to reach out to customers, using personal and relevant content that relates to each customer individually. From using this form of marketing, a loyal relationship is established between the customer and the business.

Such a relationship is formed because the customer feels a connection through the personalized marketing. To maintain this connection, PURLs are introduced through direct mailing. A PURL is a personalized URL given to customers for a specific use. Typically the PURL address has the customer’s name at the end of your company’s website.

Hopefully you have used your PURL here at the Supplies Guys, as seen above. If so, you know that it is our website with your name and zip code at the end. Here, we use PURLs to make ordering easy for our customers. But that isn’t the only function of PURLs; they can be worked into any type of marketing plan for any type of business.

For example, many companies use PURLs to obtain new customers. Mailing lists can be rented for one time use so that a company can reach a new audience. To entice the potential customer, it is suggested that the company offer a discount or free service if the person visits their PURL site.

Once the customer is at the site, the company has several options to keep their interest. A short video can be played that explains the services of the business. Or, a quick survey of 3 to 5 questions can pop up to gain an understanding of the customer’s wants and needs. Whatever you want people to see at their PURL site is completely up to you.

Additionally, there are some ideas that have been proven to provide effective results in PURL campaigns. For starters, many marketers suggest leading your customers/potential customers to an informative landing page. If you’re going to include a survey, don’t require the person’s email address or phone number. Studies show that asking new customers to provide personal information at the PURL landing page often causes many customers to abandon the page. Secondly, make sure the PURL, direct mail and email all have relative content and artwork so the customer feels comfortable and familiar. Most importantly, you need an exciting incentive so your customer will want to check out their PURL.

Not that we know what PURLs can do for your customers, let’s talk about what they can do for you. Because customers are interested in a website with their name, PURLs generally bring a high response rate. Since you can immediately see who is visiting the site and learn what they’re saying right away, you can quickly generate your response rate. If a survey or questionnaire is part of the site, the PURL functionality gives you automatic results each time a customer responds.  Such real-time reporting allows you to start initiating follow-ups and serve appropriate offers as soon as you receive the responses.

From knowing what your customers are looking at on the PURL and what items or services they are interested in, you learn what you can do to keep the customer coming back for more. Best of all, the PURL enables you to connect your sales and variable data marketing plans together for a more efficient system.

Finally, the PURLs are environmentally friendly for your business. No longer do you need large, colorful flyers. Marketing materials can be small postcards, as long as they include the PURL, where the customer now obtains important information electronically and personally. Also, PURLs are great to include in your email marketing. All it takes is one click and your customer is at their PURL!

What do you think about PURLs and variable data marketing? How would they be useful to your small business?

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Categories: Business Tips


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